On one lazy Sunday in May, I fell into one of those YouTube black holes and ended up watching a video about Damilola - today’s guest. I remembered being transfixed for the whole 30+ minutes I watched it. It made me cry, raise my hand furiously to heaven, sigh deeply, contemplate the hearts of men and the pains we inflict on each other, and most importantly, it made me want to do something. Thus, I was moved to action to help this young lady re-tell her story in a more humanistic way, with more emphasis on the person behind the story, as I thought this element was grossly lacking in the interview I had just watched her in.
Dear friends and listeners, today, I present to you a story of Ms. Damilola Falodun, a 23-year-old native of Ekiti state, an orphan, and a survivor of human trafficking. Lured under the pretext of finding work in Oman, her and several others endured harsh conditions while in Oman. It’s a story about finding your way back home after you have lost your way, in every sense of the word. It is also one that reminds us of, perhaps most importantly, that home is always where the heart is.
Ms. Damilola is back in Nigeria now, safe, and slowly trying to build her life back. She also recently enrolled in a University to study entrepreneurship and business management. Her goal is to set up a foundation to help rescue and train young girls on artisan skills that can make them financially independent.
You can make that Ms. Damilola’s dream come true by listening to this episode, sharing it with your friends and contacts to increase awareness on this issue, or making a small donation to help Damilola get her life back. You can also do all three.
Here are her account details: Damilola Falodun, 2065970162, UBA bank
You can also donate via the show by emailing me. Every cent received for this purpose will go directly to Ms. Damilola.
Contact Ms. Damilola : Email: email@example.com; Instagram @sayno2slavery
Nigeria currently has no diplomatic presence or embassy in Oman making it extremely difficult for those who want to leave to seek refuge.
Dear teenager or young adult reading this, do not fall for quick ways of making money. You could be selling your life away.
Most countries have standard procedures in place for visits, so do not be lured by promises of free visas, steps that entail bypassing those standard procedures, and whatnots. If it is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.
Ms. Damilola is still plagued with the guilt of leaving the others behind.
While we explored Oman in today’s story, there are other countries (e.g., Libya) that have been implicated similarly.
Notable Quotes by Damilola:
“While in Oman, I prayed to God that if I was rescued and made it back to Nigeria safely, I will use my voice and all my resources to create awareness on this issue.”
“It is better to drink garri and ordinary water in Nigeria, at least you will be free here, than being stuck in a foreign place as a slave. I will not stop until I see people rescued back to Nigeria.”
"Hallelujah" - Funbi (2017)
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